(Un)Popular Opinion | Recently, a motorcyclist turned into an overnight internet sensation when he became the living embodiment of instant karma. Captured in a dash cam video, the Karma Rider narrowly escaped a love tap from a Honda Accord while trying to overtake it.
In a fit of road rage, he kicks the car, only to face-plant onto the road as a lorry barrels towards him. Thankfully, the lorry driver managed to slam on the brakes, saving our hapless hero from becoming road pizza.
Read the news here if you are out of the loop:
These wacky accidents always make us wonder: why does it seem like everyone on the road is competing for the “fool of the Day” award?
Well, believe it or not, There’s actually a psychological reason for it, and it turns out you’ve probably earned that prestigious title yourself at least once during your driving escapades.
The Cognitive Bias Trap
Ever notice how, when you’re behind the wheel, anyone driving slower than you is a road-hogging, time-wasting tortoise, while anyone going faster than you is a speed-demon, hell-bent on endangering everyone’s lives?
More often than not, we fall headfirst into this cognitive bias, thinking that we – and our oh-so-perfect reasoning – set the gold standard for driving.
Every decision we make on the road – whether to hit the brakes, channel our inner speed racer, or attempt an overtaking maneuver – is the product of a complex formula combining our personal circumstances, our eagle-eyed observations, and our (highly subjective) measuring skills.
However, it’s important to remember that we often fail to take other drivers’ perspectives into account, anyone not marching to the beat of our vehicular drum is clearly in the wrong.
You see, while we’re eagerly scoping out that prime overtaking opportunity, the other driver might be dodging kamikaze squirrels, preparing to make a last-second turn, or contemplating the meaning of life.
We might be convinced there’s enough room and time to zip past them, but the next minute, the driver might be like, “Not so fast, kiddo!”
That’s why our dear Karma Rider, in his valiant attempt to overtake the car through the closing gap, quickly assumed the other driver was the world’s biggest jerk when his plan didn’t pan out.
What he perceives is not a driver adhering to basic road etiquette, but rather someone deliberately attempting to murder him by closing the gap.
Hey, you. You are not the center of the universe!
So, this brings us to our next burning question: how can we avoid becoming a top nominee for the coveted “Fool of the Day” trophy?
Easy peasy – just reread the little subheading above. Go on, give it another read; I know some of you need the extra reminder.
Whatever you’re doing, especially when you are on the road, do everyone a favor and be more considerate, will ya?
Don’t just focus on your own vehicular master plan; at least make an effort to figure out what the other road warriors are up to.
A driver will swerve when there’s a curve in the road, closing the gap at the roadside. Another might plow straight into you if you decide to channel your inner Mad Max and make a turn without using your blinker.
No need to summon your inner Sherlock for these observations – just taking a moment to empathize with your fellow asphalt adventurers will go a long way in making the roads safer and friendlier.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and does not purport to reflect the opinions or views of WeirdKaya.